FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Monday's Daily Pulse

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear to be there. Still, you need a magnifying glass to find much growth in the average worker’s paycheck. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Your turn:
» Have your wages (or work-related income) grown in the past 10 years? (quick poll)

Florida’s prisons are more expensive than ever. What will the next governor do about it?

Even as crime rates and prison admissions have fallen over the past decade, ever-lengthening criminal sentences have left Florida prisons full of inmates and in need of a record $2.4 billion — a budget-busting challenge for the state’s next governor to resolve. How he or she would do so falls on a single but complex question: Does Florida’s harsh penal system need reform? [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Florida election officials seek info as support builds for Nelson’s Russian-hack claim

Florida election officials said Saturday they are seeking more information to combat any possibility of ongoing hacking efforts on county voting systems, as support mounted over the weekend for Sen. Bill Nelson’s recent claims that Russian operatives have “penetrated” some county voter registration databases in Florida. [Source: McClatchy]

Florida's medical marijuana industry is hiring, but stoners need not apply

The hunt is on for budtenders, cannabis cultivators, weed botanists and dozens of other new jobs that have sprouted with Florida’s nascent medical marijuana industry. Medical marijuana businesses say stoners need not apply. A passion for smoking weed is a liability, and a criminal record involving drugs will almost certainly disqualify most candidates. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Harris Rosen

Harris Rosen

Florida Trend Exclusive
A healthier approach: Hotelier Harris Rosen makes health care a priority

Hotelier Harris Rosen has a small empire, with nine hotels around Orlando. You might not expect to find out that Rosen is also an innovator in health care. Since 1991, Rosen Hotels & Resorts has been self-insuring. Full profile here.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Health department issues advisory after rabid bat found
A bat that tested positive for rabies has prompted the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County to issue a rabies alert for part of Boca Raton. This is the fifth confirmed rabid animal this year in Palm Beach County.

› Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list
While a Wisconsin company that makes software to execute shipments and a trendy cellphone grip company out of Colorado may have taken the top spots in this year’s Inc. 5000 list — Florida still had an impressive showing.

› Feds: South Florida-based moving scam bilked more than 900 customers
Federal authorities have charged 12 individuals with operating a multistate South Florida-based moving scam that bilked more than 900 victims. The scam was primarily operated out of an office in Hollywood and a warehouse in West Chester, Ohio.

› Kennedy Space Center's new simulators let you work in zero gravity, drive Mars rover
The botany room is one of several new features at Kennedy Space Center’s Astronaut Training Experience Center, a two-year project designed to simulate astronaut training and work on Mars. The attraction opened in February, but officials gathered Thursday to officially kick off the opening.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Early voting open statewide; Where, when to cast primary ballots
More than 900,000 Florida voters have cast ballots in the primary election as early voting locations opened statewide Saturday. The Florida Division of Elections' website shows that, as of Friday night, more than 834,140 voters have mailed in their ballots. More than 71,497 people have voted at early voting polling places.

› St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says
St. Petersburg is beating the national averages on affordable homeownership, according to a SmartAsset study. The financial technology company ranked 115 of the biggest cities in the U.S., measured by mortgage payments, property taxes and closing costs.

› Red tide leaves foul taste for some early Sarasota voters
As red tide fouls beaches, kills sea life and chokes coastal Southwest Florida communities, the toxic blooms also are leaving a bad taste with many early voters who are vowing to hold politicians accountable. In interviews with voters across the region on the first day of early voting for the Aug. 28 primary, there was a sense of bipartisan frustration.

› Kim Kardashian was used by Fort Lauderdale startup to mislead customers, suit says
JetSmarter, the Fort Lauderdale-based private jet startup that Silicon Valley has valued at more than $1 billion, used celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Petra Nemcova to mislead customers, a new lawsuit alleges.